Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Cakes & Bakes: Redcurrant mazarin tart

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

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Half-eaten slice of redcurrant mazarin tart | H is for Home

Last week, you’ll remember that I set aside a small bowlful of redcurrants while I made the rest into jelly.

redcurrant mazarin tart ingredients

pastry ingredients for redcurrant mazarin tart base

What I had in mind for this extra was to make a redcurrant mazarin tart using a recipe I found in Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking… Scandilicious by Signe Johansen.

ball of pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart base

ball of almond pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart

It’s bit of a long-winded recipe to follow – the base, the almond paste (shop bought marzipan is much too hard) and the filling. But do give it a try, it’s worth the effort!

rolling pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart base

redcurrant mazarin filling ingredients

The amount of almond paste that is produced is slightly over what is needed. I plan on rolling the leftovers into little balls and then dipping them in melted dark chocolate; perfect little after-dinner petits fours!

uncooked redcurrant mazarin tart

redcurrant mazarin tart

The original recipe doesn’t call for leaving the tart in the oven while it cools, but I found mine needed a bit of a longer cook and it also helped stop the centre from sinking under the weight of all that fruit.

detail of a redcurrant mazarin tart

slice of redcurrant mazarin tart

The sweetness of the almond paste was a lovely match for the sourness of the redcurrants, balancing each other out. A little dollop of fraîche on the side is all you need to serve with it.

Redcurrant mazarin tart
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For the pastry base
  1. 200g/7oz spelt (or plain) flour
  2. 100g/3½ oz butter
  3. 50g/2oz caster sugar
  4. 1 egg
For the almond paste
  1. 150g/5oz ground almonds
  2. 200g/7oz icing sugar
  3. 2tsp almond extract
  4. 1 egg white
For the filling
  1. 340g/12oz almond paste
  2. 100g/3½ oz butter, softened
  3. 100g • 3½ oz plain flour (or cornflour)
  4. 6 tbsp caster sugar
  5. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 4 eggs
  7. 300g/11oz redcurrants, rinsed and de-stalked
For the pastry
  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour and butter together, or mix by hand in a large bowl, until it resembles breadcrumbs
  2. Add in the sugar and then the egg, and continue to combine until the dough comes together
  3. Cover the pastry with cling film and shape into a disc about 1cm/½ in thick
  4. Put into the fridge for an hour, or the freezer for 20-30 minutes
  5. Make the almond paste while you wait for the pastry to chill
For the almond paste
  1. Put the ground almonds, icing sugar, almond extract and egg white into a food processor and combine until a thick ball of dough is formed
  2. Turn the paste out onto a work surface and knead it a few times. Roll it into a log and wrap in cling film until you're ready to make the filling
  3. Any unused paste will keep for a month in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer
For the pastry pt II
  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 5
  2. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is about 3mm/⅛ in thick (or as thin as you can roll it before it starts to crack) and about 30cm/12in in diameter
  3. Lift the rolled pastry into a 23cm/9in pie dish, cake tin or tart case (about 3cm-4cm/1¼ in-1½ in deep) and gently press into the sides and edges
  4. Trim any excess pastry from the rim. Prick the base of the pastry case with a fork, and blind bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
  5. Prepare the filling while you wait for the pastry case to cool
For the filling
  1. Put all the filling ingredients apart from the redcurrants in a food mixer
  2. Combine until the mazarin is smooth and even, and all the ingredients have been fully incorporated
  3. Turn the oven temperature up to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
  4. Pour the mazarin filling into the cooled pastry case and carefully sprinkle the redcurrants over the top, gently pushing some of them into the mazarin mixture
  5. Bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes until golden and well risen
  6. Turn off the oven, leave the oven door ajar and allow the tart to cool slowly in the oven
Adapted from Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking . . . Scandilicious
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Portuguese custard tarts

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

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Pile of home-made Portuguese custard tarts

Justin requested these Portuguese custard tarts after seeing Bruno Pinho make them on TV recently.

Portuguese custard tart ingredients

We strongly recommend that you give them a try too – they’re absolutely delicious!

Making sugar syrup for Portuguese custard tarts

In 2012, Bruno appeared in the Welsh village of Caerleon and opened a bakery.

Making custard for Portuguese custard tarts

Can you imagine the joy of a new bakery opening in your town and trays of these delicious looking tarts appearing in the shop window?

Adding vanilla seeds to custard for Portuguese custard tarts

If you don’t happen to have a Portuguese bakery where you live, fear not – they’re very makable at home… the recipe is quite straightforward, but does need following properly to get perfect results.

Making puff pastry cases for Portuguese custard tarts

You can make your own puff pastry if your really keen, but we got excellent results using ready made.

Uncooked Portuguese custard tarts

The custard tartlets look lovely with their shiny golden brown finish – and they weren’t left to cool for long before we had to try one…then two… then three… then four!!

Portuguese custard tarts fresh from the oven

The cinnamon and vanilla come through well, but don’t over-power. The lemon stops them being cloying or claggy. They’re best eaten on the day, but we guarantee that this wont be a problem.

Portuguese custard tarts cooling on a wire rack

Crispy puff pastry and a sweet, moist filling… did we mention that they were delicious?

Try them yourself – we’ve added it to Pinterest!

Portuguese custard tarts
Yields 10
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
for the sugar syrup
  1. 250g/9oz caster sugar
  2. 1 cinnamon stick
  3. peel of ½ a lemon
for the filling
  1. 25g/1oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  2. 12g cornflour
  3. 300ml/10½fl oz milk
  4. 4 egg yolks, plus 1 whole egg
  5. seeds from one vanilla pod
  6. 300g/10½oz ready-made all-butter puff pastry
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to at least 230ºC/210ºC fan/450ºF/Gas mark 8
  2. For the sugar syrup, bring the sugar, cinnamon and lemon rind to the boil in a saucepan with 250ml/9fl oz water. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, then simmer for 3 minutes. Set the syrup aside until completely cool. Once cool, discard the cinnamon stick and lemon rind
  3. For the custard filling, mix the flours together in a bowl. Pour in a little bit of milk and stir until any lumps are removed
  4. Bring the rest of the milk to the boil in a saucepan over low heat, stirring regularly
  5. Gradually add the boiled milk to the flour mixture and whisk for 1 minute, or until smooth and well combined
  6. Slowly whisk in the sugar syrup until well combined
  7. Whisk in the egg yolks, whole egg and vanilla seeds until smooth and well combined. Set aside
  8. Roll out the pastry onto a lightly-floured work surface into a rectangle measuring approximately 50x30/20x12in; but more importantly, to a thickness of 1mm
  9. With the longest edge of the pastry rectangle facing you, roll the pastry as tightly as possible, brushing it from right to left with water as you go. Cut the pastry roll into 2cm/¾in-thick discs that are ¼ larger than the holes of your muffin tin
  10. Place the discs over the holes of your muffin tin and press them down firmly to the bottom & sides
  11. Fill each pastry cases with the custard until they are almost, but not quite, full
  12. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry has risen and the surface of the custard is scorched
  13. Set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving to allow the custard to set slightly
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Black bread

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

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Sliced & buttered home-made black bread with a mug of tea

We recently bought a box of mixed ephemera at auction.

Vintage Esso wall calendar from 1958

There were quite a few vintage calendars in the box including this charming Esso calendar dating from 1958. Each month is represented by a traditional activity for the time of year…

Black bread recipe on a wall calendar from 1958

…and on the reverse is a recipe from a different county of the UK. I liked the sound of the black bread from Buckinghamshire so decided to test it out for this week’s Cakes & Bakes.

Black bread ingredients

I’m not sure whether it actually hails from Buckinghamshire or not, I couldn’t find any mention of a ‘Buckinghamshire black bread’ on the internet anywhere. Have you ever heard of it?

Adding treacle to the other black bread ingredients

From its list of ingredients, I presumed it would be a sweet bread, perfect for having with an afternoon cup of tea.

Black bread dough before putting it into the oven

It was really easy to rustle up, I already had everything in the store cupboard. It was quick too, no waiting for the dough to rise; just mix, into a tin and in the oven – job done!

Home-made black bread loaf

I’ve changed the original cooking temperature and duration. The top began to look a little too ‘black’ and it was definitely fully cooked after an hour.

Sliced & buttered home-made black bread loaf

It’s reminiscent of malt loaf but less sticky and more… treacley! We had a few slices with a healthy layering of butter – divine!

If you fancy giving this recipe a try you can pin it from here for later!

Black bread
Yields 1
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 450g/1lb wholemeal flour
  2. 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 300ml/½pt milk
  5. 1 egg
  6. 300ml/½pt black treacle
  7. 225g/8oz dried fruit (I used sultanas)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease a 1kg/2lb loaf tin
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the salt and bicarbonate with the flour
  4. Mix in the milk, egg and treacle before adding the dried fruit
  5. Pour the mixture into the greased loaf tin and bake for about an hour. If the top begins to look too dark, cover with tin foil
  6. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool
Notes
  1. The original recipe says that this bread is best left for a month before cutting & consuming. We couldn't wait that long!
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/